Homeowners can use unique wood salvaged from barns in many of the same ways as new-cut wood, but with dramatically different results. Its aged appearance lends rustic charm to any room or home. I’ve done several projects using salvaged barnwood, and I really enjoy working with this reclaimed material.

These six barnwood siding design ideas show the many ways it can create a one-of-a-kind look for your home or business.

1. Reception and Check-Out Desks

Make a statement by using barnwood for your reception desk or in your check-out area. Rustic wood has appeal and sets the tone. The cozy hues provide a built-in palette that can inspire further design ideas.

Barnwood brings authenticity with its texture and conveys brand character. Consider industrial accents like metal or natural stone, both of which pair well with reclaimed barnwood. Incorporate local barnwood for a custom look.

2. Rustic Ceiling Accents

wooden ceiling accents

Wood adds warmth to any space. Use reclaimed barnwood on high ceilings to draw the eye up and emphasize height while adding ambiance. Contrasting wood adds interest and luminosity.

Strategic placement creates a focal point and balance. Varied reclaimed boards add dimension. Ceiling accents work well with modern and industrial rooms. Just make sure to inspect first for safety, then fireproof and seal properly.

3. Full Ceiling

On lower ceilings, barnwood brings warmth and interest. It elevates any style, whether rustic or modern, with rustic touches. 

Barnwood ceilings feel cozy and intimate. The varied planks and imperfections create a dynamic look compared to drywall. Customize the tone with staining or whitewashing, install properly with secure boards and room for expansion and contraction, and seal and ventilate to prevent moisture damage.

4. Bar Areas

Wood improves moods, which is perfect for bars and restaurants. Barnwood bars gain style and relaxation. Pair a wood bar with rustic or industrial stools.

Barnwood provides durable, easy-to-clean, distinctive surfaces. The varied planks and patina have visual appeal, especially if you use different tones and textures. Cured, dried, and sealed boards are optimal for food service; just make sure to apply a food-safe finish. Avoid very rough boards that hold bacteria.


5. Beamed Ceilings

Pair barnwood siding and beams to add interest and emphasize height. Stone and brick complement the rustic wood, too.

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Exposed beams enhance high ceilings for impact. Contrast them with whitewashed planks for texture and stagger planks for added character. Beams need proper support for structural integrity and code compliance, so consult carpenters and engineers when installing.

You can also consider using reclaimed wood beams.

6. Rustic Wood Flooring

Barnwood floors offer unmatched personality, complete with an organic palette and style.

Floors gain authenticity from barnwood’s salvaged imperfections. Refine with light sanding and finishing, or use as-is for rustic flair. Durable finishes and proper installation preserve integrity over time. Allow expansion space between planks, and if you perform periodic refinishing, you can easily maintain the appearance of wood floors.

Check out some of these unique reclaimed wood flooring designs.

So, Is Reclaimed Barnwood Siding Right for You?

Barnwood provides vintage appeal through its rustic, worn look. It lends cozy nostalgia to homes, restaurants, and offices. That said, it needs special handling like installation, finish maintenance, and moisture control.

If you appreciate the salvaged character and are ready to care for it properly, barnwood can beautifully accent walls, floors, and ceilings. Just ensure to source it with care, research installation, and keep it in good shape with frequent maintenance.

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FAQs About Barnwood Siding

Where can I source reclaimed barnwood?

Check old barns, farms, salvage yards, vintage lumber sellers, Craigslist, and Facebook. Verify quality and source carefully.

What are the benefits of using barnwood?

Barnwood offers a rustic, natural look that is distinctive, sustainable, and durable. Using recycled wood salvaged from barns is an easy way to create versatile and cost-effective materials for home design and decor.

How do I prepare reclaimed barnwood for installation?

Clean the barnwood by sanding off debris and using a wire brush to remove loose flakes, then fill any holes or imperfections with wood filler and sand again until smooth.

What maintenance does barnwood require?

Since barnwood is very durable and often finished with protective sealants like polyurethane, it typically requires minimal maintenance beyond occasional dusting and re-application of finish when it wears over time to protect it from moisture damage or cupping. Keep wood free from dirt and debris while refinishing in order to maintain its rustic look and prevent warping.

Editorial Contributors
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Doug Sluga

Doug Sluga is a professional roofer and carpenter with ten years of experience in residential and commercial construction. His expertise spans the breadth of the roofing trade from minor repairs to laying shingles to framing trusses. These days he spends most of his time writing about roofing and the roofing industry.

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Lori Zaino

Lori Zaino is a freelance writer and editor based in Madrid, Spain. With nearly two decades of editorial experience, she’s written and edited for publications like Forbes, CNN, Insider, NBC, Newsweek, The Points Guy, The Infatuation, and many others. Having just completed her first home renovation, she’s more interested in home improvements than ever, dedicated to bringing you fresh and accurate content to help you update your living spaces.

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